Hunters who haven’t experienced a red dot scope on a hunting bow will be amazed how this common technology makes for uncommon shooting accuracy. A red dot scope converts bow sighting into a instinctive and intuitive act.
Unlike peep sights and other sighting devices that require the shooter to use only one eye, red dot scopes enable the shooter to keep both eyes open and focused on the target. Focusing on the target with both eyes has the added benefit of improving depth perception and the ability to judge distances accurately.
Universal Red Dot Scope with Messer Optic Bow Sight Mount Fits All Compound Bows
When the scope is mounted properly on the bow riser and the shooter uses proper form, the red aiming dot is suspended directly in the center of the scope. The shooter simply places the dot in the desired impact area and releases the arrow.
Best Compound Bow Scope
Claud Pollington, owner of Buck Pole Archery in Marion, Michigan, is a pioneer in the development of red dot sighting systems. Pollington got his start developing archery equipment over 10 years ago when he started work on a bracket to accept a laser sight. At the time, Pollington owned a machine shop and had at his disposal almost unlimited resources for engineering and designing anything made of metal.
His sight bracket held a laser (light emitting) device on the bow riser. “I selected a laser like the type commonly used on revolvers and pistols because of its small size,” explains Pollington. “The laser beam was sighted in at a fixed distance by moving the bracket on the riser to coincide with the arrow’s point of impact at a set distance.”
Compound Bow red Dot Sight Mount
The Pollington bracket and laser sight combination became an overnight success. Those who tried the sight were fascinated with how easy and fun shooting a bow became.
Pollington’s laser sight wasn’t without problems, however. It was difficult to see the light beam in bright light conditions. Also, soon after the sight was introduced the use of light emitting sights were outlawed for hunting in Michigan and many other states.
Once it became obvious that lasers weren’t going to be the answer, Pollington quickly adapted a red dot style scope to his bracket. An aluminum bracket was mounted on the outside of the riser using the quiver bracket holes. Pollington then developed a custom-built set of rings and bases that allowed the scope to be supported on the inside of the riser just above the arrow shelf.
Since red dot scopes do not cast a light on the target, they are legal to hunt with in all states. It should be noted, however, that the use of any electronic sight precludes animals harvested with these devices from being included in the Pope and Young record book.
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Pollington quickly discovered that the red dot scope was ideal for aiming arrows in hunting and target situations.
“Using the red dot system, shooters are forced to use proper bow form and to anchor in exactly the same spot shot after shot,” says Pollington. “Once the sight is installed and sighted in, any change in bow form or anchor point is readily noticeable. The red dot should appear to be directly in the middle of the scope. If the dot appears somewhere outside the center, the shooter has changed his or her anchor point or head position, or is torquing the grip.”
It doesn’t take long using one of these sights to get the sense that you’re shooting instinctively. Successful shooters develop a routine that includes drawing, anchoring, aiming, and releasing in one smooth motion. Compared to concentrating on a pin or looking through a peep, red dot scopes provide nock-busting accuracy with more freedom and shooting enjoyment.
Pollington’s design of red dot bow sights become so popular that he opened an archery pro shop for sales and service. A wall full of Robin Hooded arrows stands as proof that red dot scopes are deadly accurate.
Different Types of Bow Sights
Two versions are currently for sale including one that is based on a 30mm scope and another using a 33mm scope. Both units operate the same, but the larger field of view offered by the 33mm scope enables the shooter to see the entire target, not just a portion of the target.
Red dot sighting systems aren’t without some negatives. Installing the bracket and scope isn’t an easy task for the average shooter or hunter. Making the scope function on certain models of bows requires the bracket to be shimmed against the riser.
Because this scope system uses a single red dot as a sighting aid, shooters are forced to sight in for a single distance and use various degrees of hold over for longer shots. “I recommend that whitetail treestand hunters sight-in at 20-25 yards,” says Pollington. “Hunters planning a trip out West or another area where longer shots are common should plan on sighting in at 30 yards.”
Most first-timer users of a red dot sighting system will find that the assistance of an archery pro shop is invaluable. However, once a shooter becomes familiar with the system, the process of installing or changing sighting distances only takes a few minutes.
Several other companies produce red dot sighting systems or brackets that are designed to accept a red dot scope. Some of these systems feature a fixed and rigid bracket like the Pollington sight and others incorporate brackets that allow the shooter to adjust the sight for various distances.
Adjustable red dot scope brackets are used mostly as a target sight. In actual hunting situations it’s tough to beat the simplicity and dependability of a fixed, rigid bracket.